The NASA Mars rover is expected to make something that the team'never imagined.'
See ya later, a crumbly Mars rock sample.
The Perseverance rover team is trying to fix a problem. First, the rover is making a surprise move by dumping the sample it's collected onto the ground.
Perseverance cut and drilled the sample from a rock nicknamed Issole in late December, but was not able to complete the handoff of the sample tube from the robotic arm into the bit carousel, a component that passes the tube into the rover for processing.
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First, the rover looked at the ground below it so it would be able to monitor for changes when it dislodges the offending pebbles. Next up, a maneuver for the robotic arm. "Simply put, we are redistributing the remaining contents of Sample Tube 261 (our latest cored-rock sample) back to its planet of origin," Trosper said.
The team hopes that dumping out the contents will be pretty straightforward, involving pointing the open end at the ground and letting gravity take over.
According to a source, 55 strange objects were photographed on Mars.
The rover is equipped with a set of sample tubes that allow it to collect away bits of Mars.
The Perseverance rover took a good look at the ground so the team will be able to spot any pebbles it has experienced.
The next steps will focus on the pesky pebbles. NASA is directing the rover to perform some rotation tests of its bit carousel. "Our expectations are that these rotations -- and any subsequent pebble movement will help our team, providing them the necessary information on how to proceed," Trosper said.
The carousel movement should be known by early next week, given the impact of the pebbles.
Every NASA rover has encountered challenges on Mars, from giant rocks that don't behave. Clever and careful solutions have helped keep missions going, therefore it's likely the pebbles won't hinder Perseverance's work for too long.